How To Keep Your Kitchen Cutting Boards Safe From Contamination



Do you have more than one cutting board? Who doesn’t, right?

We have a small stack of cutting boards sitting on a counter somewhat near the sink, leaning against the side of a cabinet for easy access.

Here’s the thing… a general concern should be that of food-borne illness or cross-contamination on your cutting boards. It can happen easier than you think – and you won’t know it until it’s too late.

Contamination can occur as a result of bad habits. Poor cleaning. Cross contamination.

(UPDATED – and a reminder…)

Here is an important (and simple) health safety tip – how to keep your cutting boards safe from cross-contamination…

Separate Cutting Boards For Meat and Vegetables

ONLY use a particular cutting board for meats and ONLY use a different board for vegetables. And keep it that way, even if they’re clean.

I told you it was simple!

Color Coded Cutting Boards

Here’s one way to do it. Purchase cutting boards that are color coded (that’s one way that we identify which cutting board to use for meat and which one for vegetables.

For example, you might use the following cutting board with red edge grips for meat (e.g. red meat).

Gorilla Grip Cutting Board (3 Piece) Red
#potential amzn fee earned at no extra cost to you

Similarly, the product linked above is available in a variety of edge colors. Perhaps choose the green one for vegetables.

Suggested colors

Red – Beef
Yellow – Chicken
White – Pork
Green – Vegetables


Just decide which of your cutting boards will be used for meat vs. vegetables and leave it at that!

Cutting Board Contamination

Note: Even though you washed your cutting board, it doesn’t necessarily ensure that you got everything disinfected (the ‘bad’ stuff is invisible).

Note: The tiny grooves in a cutting board caused by the knife provides a potential breeding ground for bacteria that may have resisted your last washing.

MSB reader tip:
“Disinfect everything that might have come in contact with raw chicken in the kitchen. Hot soapy water wipe down on the counter followed by bleach wipe-down. Wet sponge goes into the microwave for 2 minutes afterwards.”

Ken adds: Careful with how long that wet sponge is in the microwave! I generally do 30 seconds to a minute. Keep an eye on it…

Best Way To Get Germs Off A Kitchen Sponge

How To Disinfect A Cutting Board

If your dishwasher has a high temperature ‘sanitary’ mode, use it! Be sure that the cutting board is dishwasher safe. Not a good idea to put a wooden cutting board in there…

Or, wipe the cutting board with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.

Use bleach or a bleach solution.
Disinfectant Bleach-Water Ratio

What about this one… For even more effectiveness (e.g. after cutting poultry?). Wash in sink with hot soapy water (pretty obvious, right?). But then use a paper towel to wipe the board with vinegar. After that use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide. Ordinary 3% peroxide is fine. Hydrogen peroxide is a surefire bacteria-killer.

“Friction and disinfectant solution. There is no substitute for scrubbing off gross contaminants and using soap and disinfectant solution to remove the pathogens.”

another MSB reader tip

How To Deep Clean A Cutting Board

Scrub it with a paste made from the following recipe:

1 tablespoon baking soda
Tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon water

Rinse thoroughly with hot water.


Latest posts